Golden card insurance company has not opted out of the scheme, CEO SHA clarifies

Says all patients getting required treatment in all empanelled hospitals

Srinagar: Amid reports of the insurance company withdrawing from the golden card scheme, authorities clarified that the company has not opted out of the committee yet, and all facilities are being provided as usual.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Health Agency, Jammu and Kashmir, Sanjiv M Gadkar, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the company has not withdrawn from the scheme so far, and there is no question of its impact on the scheme. He assured that all patients are receiving the required treatment in all empanelled hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir and outside the state.

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Regarding reports of the government deciding to remove four common surgeries (Gallbladder, Hemorrhoids, Fissure in Ano, and Appendicitis) from the list of free surgeries, Gadkar said that neither SHA nor the government has received any notification, and there is no need to pay heed to negative reports or rumours without confirmation from authorities.

He said the Ayushman Bharat Scheme is the most successful and beneficial government scheme, and people will continue to receive all its benefits.

Last November, the IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company, the insurer for the Ayushman Bharat scheme in J&K, informed SHA authorities that they were not interested in renewing the contract after its expiry on March 14, 2025.

The scheme was initially implemented through private insurer Bajaj Allianz GIC, whose contract ended in 2022, after which IFFCO-TOKIO was roped in. However, citing financial loss, the company attempted to exit the scheme. SHA requested them to continue the contract in the interest of patient care, but the request was refused.

The SHA then approached the High Court to stay the exit, but the petition was dismissed on February 2, causing further complications for SHA and beneficiaries across the union territory.

Officials from SHA assured that the scheme is currently functioning normally, and the dispute between the government and the insurance company does not affect its implementation. Empanelled hospitals are aware that the funds are documented for them, though there may be delays due to the ongoing dispute.

While there was a proposal to remove the four common surgeries from the list of free surgeries, it has not been implemented yet. Approximately 1500 patients avail themselves of this scheme’s benefits daily in J&K, and these services will continue for patients.

The Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT scheme was launched by the Prime Minister of India on December 26, 2020. Over the past four years, thousands of patients have benefited from this scheme.